It’s been a struggle for me this last week to watch mum be in so much pain, especially as I know that she is trying not to let on how much pain she is in. I watch her when she doesn’t realise and watch how she occasionally will stop in her tracks because the pain gets so bad. I’ve also seen how she is choosing to spend so much time in bed. When I asked her about it, she told me that if she sleeps, she doesn’t feel pain so it’s easier for her. My mum has a strong pain threshold, so this must be excruciating for her if she feels that she has to sleep to avoid. When dad had his cancer trial last year, more than anything it was a mental thing for him, not so much a pain thing. Dad was in pain but that was more after his surgery, whereas with mum, the pain has kicked in before she even has any treatment, which is a slight concern as I’m not really sure what pain the treatment, whatever it will be, will bring.

We get the treatment update on Wednesday and the day can’t come soon enough. Mum has been counting down the days, literally. Every morning she will say “4 days to go, 3 days to go” and so on. I’m praying and believing that she will NOT need chemotherapy and that medication or radiotherapy will be enough. I did some research and apparently radiotherapy is recommended for those with stage 1-4 breast cancer, so I’m hopeful that mum will fall into that as she is at stage 1 breast cancer. Dad had radiotherapy when he had prostate cancer and he didn’t complain of anything other than being tired. And if he can handle it anyone can because my dad is a bit of a girl when it comes to pain (sorry dad, but it’s true). My brother and I once made my dad sick purely by telling him that he looked a little yellow and maybe he needed to lie down; 10 mins later dad comes out of the bathroom complaining about how sick he is and spent the next few hours under the blanket on the couch moaning and groaning – that made it less funny because mum made me look after him and get him his food, tea, water, and whatever else he needed as punishment for messing with him. But it was worth it though when he forgot that was ‘sick’ and was trying to remember why he was sick. Ah, fun times messing with the father kept my brother and I amused for years. We are a little more behaved now but still occasionally have some fun with him. But truly, if he can handle radiotherapy, mum can as she is much stronger than him physically. So that’s what we are believing for.

While it’s been difficult this last week, I’ve been trying to make sure I get time to myself and find ways to keep my head clear and my soul at peace. I’ve been praying and spending time in the bible, which has been a great source of comfort for me. But there have been times when I’ve just needed to shut out the world and escape, and I’ve found a way to do it. I’ve kept it a secret from most people because I wasn’t sure what people would say when I told them, but here it is so please don’t judge me and think less of me; I’ve been reading romance novels. Full on, mushy, the world fades out when they are in the same room, will they or won’t they live happily ever after despite all the things that try to keep them apart, romance novels. They are clean novels as they all have a Christian base to them, so I don’t feel like I’m reading a rated XXX story, but yes, I’m reading romance novels. And not just reading a few, I’m pretty sure I’ve gotten through about 10 in the last couple of weeks – clearly, I’m trying not to deal with things. But before you disown me or make a global call for united prayer to pray for me to get some sense back, hear me out! Romance novels all have a pretty standard formula; boy meets girl, girl falls in love, boy struggles but eventually realises he is an idiot for waiting so long to tell her and rushes madly to her before she gives up on his sorry behind, they face a major obstacle but eventually, love wins and they live happily ever after. Well, at least until the bills start pilling up and the in-laws start interfering with the marriage. But it’s a standard formula that rarely fails and is dependable; despite the challenges in the story, you just know, deep down, that love will prevail. There will be a happy ending. Life isn’t always like that is it? There are plenty of happily-ever-afters but there is also plenty of heartache and sadness and death and misery in this world. As a follower of Christ, I believe that this life is just a journey and that after death, we will spend eternity in Heaven with Christ and all sadness and sickness will be gone, but we still have to deal with things that happen while we’re alive and living this life. Death, sadness and crisis is something that everyone experiences, you can’t escape it. But you can shut it out for a little while and get lost in fake lives of others and read about how their love won. Their love overcame every obstacle in life and they made it. You can shut out your life for a while you cheer on the underdog chick that was always a wall flower and never had a date but has grabbed the attention of the hottest and most amazing man in the county (I know what you’re thinking and you’re right; yes I read a lot of novels and can talk through most romance scenarios as if they were my own life. Sad, so very sad I know but stop judging me!). Sometimes you just need an escape and as someone who has no love life of her own, it’s a nice little getaway in my head that is relatively cheap as I’m a good bargain hunter and can find cheap books online via Amazon. Again, STOP judging just love and me me for who I am people, it’s a lot easier than trying to understand how my little head works.

So there’s my confession, you now know my little secret. It isn’t drugs or alcohol or even chocolate, it’s romance novels. Novels so clean that they don’t even get past kissing and holding hands before they get married (I’m not interested in the birds and the bees element of the story. Got that lesson in school so I’m all good, but thanks all the same) and realise that God had chosen them to be together all along but they didn’t trust Him enough to let Him work it out. (Sounds a little like my life sometimes as I occasionally forget God has things in control and I just need to let it go and trust Him). But this is my escape from the world around me. This is where I allow myself to just get lost in another world where I know that love will prevail, and where I can just numb my mind and not THINK. Not think about mums’ pain: not think about the potential treatment she’s going to need: not think about what will be required of me over the next few months. I can just escape and enjoy looking into someone else’s life. And on that note, my characters are waiting for me to pick up the book so they can continue to tell me their story, so I’m outta here.

Until next time, be blessed people xx


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